6 Ways You Know You're a Philadelphia Eagles Fan
It's not easy being a Philadelphia Eagles fan. Just ask us. We'll tell you.
It's been 53 years since the franchise last won an NFL championship. The team has appeared in just two Super Bowls and, as we all know, both ended in losses.
But despite a franchise that is 40 games under .500 for its history, the fans have never stopped caring, never stopped supporting, never stopped loving. Basically we're like the old married couple that fights all the time but couldn't even begin to imagine life without one another.
With that being said, here are six ways you know you're a Philadelphia Eagles fan.
1. Highest of Highs, Lowest of Lows
As an Eagles fan, you're more emotional than almost any other fanbase. You know it and they know it.
Each season as an Eagles fan will bring on the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, sometimes multiple times within the same game.
After a big win, we're convinced that the Eagles are going to the Super Bowl and this is finally our year. But one heartbreaking loss and we have to fight to stop from burying our team.
The 2008 season is the prime example. Within the season's final two months, the fanbase experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows many times each.
Then there were victories in three straight games, vaulting the Eagles back into the postseason race. A shocking loss to the Washington Redskins knocked the team's playoff chances down to seven percent but an improbable Sunday of Miracles, highlighted by a 44-6 stomping of the Dallas Cowboys, put the Eagles in the postseason.
In the playoffs, the Eagles collected a pair of road playoff games before falling behind 24-6 to the Arizona Cardinals in the conference championship game. They rallied to take a 25-24 fourth quarter lead but ultimately lost 32-25, ending their season.
There you go. From high to low and back many times within one season.
2. Extremely Vocal
No one will ever accuse a Philadelphia Eagles fan of not being vocal enough. In fact, as Eagles fans, we hear the opposite all the time.
And we're extremely proud of it.
As Philadelphia talk show host Glen Macnow once said, "You can drop a Martian in Philadelphia on a Monday morning and within five minutes, he'd know whether the Eagles won or lost."
Even when the Phillies lose, the fans still show up to the games. They just do it with a little more anger inside of them.
3. So Tired of Hearing About the Santa Claus Incident
It might be the single most defining moment in the history of the Philadelphia Eagles fanbase. It might be the single most defining moment in the history of any team's fanbase. It's also the misunderstood and overrated moment in fan history. It's the day that Eagles fans booed Santa Claus.
The date was December 15, 1968, and the Eagles were 2-11 on the heels of a two-game winning streak. Those late-season victories had essentially ruined the team's chances at winning the right to draft Heisman-winning running back OJ Simpson. Instead, they picked Leroy Keyes (third overall) who would become one of the worst running backs in league history (Keyes was converted to a defensive back by 1971).
Despite what future Eagles player Vince Papale, who was in the stands, called the coldest game he's ever been to, the Eagles had close to 55,000 fans at the game. At halftime, the cold and miserable fans were expecting a halftime show featuring Santa but the team's regular Santa was unable to make it to the game because of the storm.
Instead, the Eagles asked 20-year-old Frank Olivo, a loyal fan who always dressed like Santa for the last home game of the year, to fill in. Olivo accepted and what happened next set the stage for more than four decades of hatred towards the Eagles fanbase.
Olivo recalls being pelted by “a couple of dozen, maybe up to 100 snowballs.” He took it all in good nature but his 15 minutes of fame turned into a national story when broadcaster Howard Cosell aired the footage on his weekly NFL show that night.
Since then, it's become a symbol of Eagles fans, usually thrown out by those who don't know (or don't care) about learning the whole story.
4. Least Favorite Team Is Dallas Cowboys
You cannot be a true Philadelphia Eagles fan and have your least favorite team be anybody but the Dallas Cowboys.
Let me clarify that. We hate the Cowboys. We hate the Cowboys so much that we can't even stand it. And perhaps, more than the Cowboys, we hate their fans.
We all know a Yankees, Cowboys and Lakers fan, and shockingly, they grew up in the 1990s. Sorry, doesn't count. There are more Cowboys fans across the country than any other team. If you're not from Texas or you don't have ties to Texas, you're a bandwagon fan.
You stick with your team through thick and thin. And that team should be your hometown team.
5. Watch Your Team in the Playoffs Expecting the Worst
If I'm a Green Bay Packers or Pittsburgh Steelers fan, I watch my team in the postseason expecting the best. History backs those fanbases up too, as the two teams have combined for nine Super Bowl victories in 46 seasons.
But as Eagles fans, we've learned to prepare for the worst in the playoffs, especially in the NFC championship game. As we all know, the Eagles lost in the conference final four times in an eight-year span in the 2000s. The Eagles were favored in three of those losses (and heavily favored in two of the losses).
Whether it's Ronde Barber streaking down the sideline on his way to a game-clinching 92-yard interception touchdown or Larry Fitzgerald easily out-jumping Quintin Demps on his way to one of his three title game touchdowns, every Eagles fan has at least one (or five) awful postseason moments stuck in his brain forever.
6. Remember Who and Where During DeSean Jackson's Walkoff Touchdown
No Eagles fan will ever forget where they were and who they were with on December 19, 2010 at 4:19 p.m, arguably one of the five greatest regular season victories in the history of the franchise.
We all remember what happened. The Eagles trailed 31-10 midway through the fourth quarter. But a touchdown pass to Brent Celek, an onsides kick, a rushing touchdown by Michael Vick, a defensive stop and a touchdown to Jeremy Maclin, and the game was tied.
What happened next, well, I’ll let Merrill Reese (with a little Mike Quick thrown in) tell the story of what happened in the play that will forever be known as the New Miracle at the Meadowlands.
“Matt Dodge to punt. Gets a high snap. Gets it away. It’s a knuckler. Jackson takes it at the 35, fumbles it, picks it up, looks for running room. He’s at the 40. He’s at the 45. Midfield! OH! He’s at the 40! OH! He’s gonna go! DeSean Jackson! OH! I don’t care if he jumps, dives! He’s running around and he is in the end zone! And there’s no time! And the Eagles win! The Eagles win!”
Mike Quick’s jubilant yell of, “This is Miracle in the Meadowlands number two!” will forever be etched in Philadelphia Eagles’ lore.
The improbable touchdown was the first walkoff punt return touchdown in the history of the National Football League.
The comeback was the first in NFL history in which a team trailed by 21 in the final eight minutes and won in regulation. It virtually won the division title for the Eagles, which they officially clinched the following week when the Giants lost to the Packers.
Oh, and speaking of remembering what you were doing when the play happened, here's my celebration.